|Spoilers! Proceed at your own risk.|
If you ever wanted to see a film that ends with two people, splattered in blood and guts, sharing a joint at the end of the world -- this is your movie.
Now there's a line I never thought I'd say. But seriously, how awesome was that scene? :-)
I have to say up front that I am not a big fan of horror movies, gore, or general campiness. Maybe it's because I came of age in an era before modern special effects. I mean seriously -- who really wants to see a creepy undead kid running around in a hockey mask? So while I was looking forward to this movie for a bit of light-hearted, cringeworthy fun with the husband and teens, I wasn't expecting much.
Who thought I would love it and confer a rare 5-star rating? Only Joss Whedon, the crazy man who made me fall insanely in love with cowboys in space, could've pulled that off.
One couple has even been drugged to ensure they'll fit tired horror movie tropes. The cute blond pre-med student is suddenly acting like a bimbo, and her bookish sociology major boyfriend has become an obnoxious alpha male, openly gloating over the hotness of his girlfriend. Go figure. :-)
The group also includes "the virgin," who isn't actually a virgin ("The Director" later comments "These days, we'll take what we can get"), her prospective boyfriend, and their stoner buddy with a penchant for conspiracy theories. The stoner, Marty, is at one point referred to as "the fool." But he's actually the cleverest of the lot, despite carrying an over-sized bong that put my misspent youth to shame and spouting a lot of pseudo-profundity that could only be the result of a THC-addled mind. Like the fools in Shakespeare's tragedies, he is the one who speaks the truth. After all, the thing about conspiracy theories? You're only crazy if you're wrong.
Eventually, as in a video game, the intrepid survivors stumble onto the final level and have the opportunity to face the perpetrator of their suffering. My son (and resident gaming expert) pointed out that some shots were reminiscent of third-person video games. There is also this wonderful scene in which we get a peek at myriad creatures held in reserve for unwary victims. In this world, with a nod to Orwell, everyone gets his personal Room 101. Oh, and I thought the ending rocked.
If you look at this movie as a satire of -- or more aptly as a homage to -- movies, video games, and the campy horror genre -- it works on that level. It's smart and well-crafted, and it offers a wealth of entertaining references to games and films -- even I picked up on some of these, and I am neither a gamer nor a horror aficionado. By gleefully playing with technology vs. reality, and with its pastiche of horror movie and futuristic elements, self-referential humor, and video game imagery, this is also a fabulous tribute to postmodernism in film.
|Yes, that is Marty's over-sized bong. Like Chekov's gun, it comes into play. ;-)|
More importantly, it's a unique, imaginative, funny movie featuring intelligent dialogue and magnificent storytelling. There's also enough gore to satisfy viewers who count slasher flicks among their guilty pleasures. It's definitely one of the most original, entertaining movies I've seen in recent memory.
Other Fun Stuff:
- Houston Press: Top 10 Cabin in the Woods movies
- Unreality Mag: Concept Art for The Cabin in the Woods